Electric knives have been around for decades but many home chefs still find them irreplaceable today. They are easy to use and often much safer than traditional knives. Moreover, newer models can cut through almost any raw or cooked meat without an issue. But how to filter through the best electric knives on the market and what are the most important features you should focus on?
In this guide, we will go over the top models for 2021 and see what their most notable pros and cons are. Once we go through that, we will discuss the various benefits of electric knives and more importantly – how to use them. Now, let’s get started!
Electric Knives Comparison Chart
Best Overall – Cuisinart Electric Knife
It is safe to say that Cuisinart is one of the most dominant brands in the cooking department. Their pots, pans, flatware, and knives are among the best out there and bring superb quality with them. The Cuisinart Electric Knife is a high-quality set that is practical, easy to use, and comes with a handy butcher block holding tray.
The knife comes with two stainless steel blades. One of them is for carving meat while the other is for cutting bread or other soft-baked foods. They are both detachable and easy to wash in the dishwasher. The stainless steel will ensure that they age well and remain sharp over time. The handle itself is quite comfortable and has an ergonomic design to it that allows you to hold the knife steadily even when cutting harder things like frozen meat. The carving blade is actually quite capable and can go through poultry bones easily.
One of the set’s biggest disadvantages, however, is that it is simply too expensive. Normal electric knives typically cost twice as less and do a comparatively good job at cutting meat and bread. This knife, however, boasts a slightly better build quality and marginally better performance. Is it worth all that extra cash, however? Well, that depends on your budget.
- Best-in-class quality
- Two stainless steel blades
- Holding tray for easy storage
- The blades can be put in the dishwasher
- Ergonomic handle
- Great cutting capabilities
- Doesn’t come with a carving fork
- Very expensive
Best Budget – Black+Decker 9-inch Electric Carving Knife
If you’re looking for something on the budget that will still do a great job, then the Black+Decker 9″ Electric Carving Knife is just the right tool for you. It carries the familiar quality of the brand down to the budget price class with few to no compromises. The 9-inch blade here features a straight design that makes it universally good for both carving meat and slicing bread. It is also made out of high-grade stainless steel that will be good for years without deteriorating.
The knife’s serrated blades are also good for sawing through foam and other uses outside the kitchen. Additionally, they are also self-sharpening, meaning you won’t have to spend some time each month to manually sharpen them. The handle on this electric knife is fairly comfortable, although not as ergonomic as some other knives as the Cuisinart one. There is a safety lock button for the knife’s blade. The blade itself can be removed in case you want to wash it separately in the dishwasher.
While it is corded, there are hardly any cordless options at this price class. As a whole, there aren’t many decent options in this budget segment that will have the same cutting performance as this Black+Decker knife.
- Very cheap
- Stainless steel blade
- Straight universal 9-inch blade
- Self-sharpening blades
- The cord is plenty long
- Dishwasher-safe blade
- Safety lock button
- The model sometimes lacks power
- The handle isn’t very comfortable
- No additional blades
Best Cordless – BUBBA Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
The BUBBA Lithium-ion cordless electric fillet knife is one of the best battery-powered models on the market. While it costs quite a lot more than the traditional corded models, there are plenty of features that more than makeup for its high price tag.
One of the key features of this knife is the fact that it comes with four individual blades, each serving a different purpose. The 7″ e-flex blade is made specifically with small-to-medium fish in mind, while the 9-inch e-flex blade with bidirectional blades is suitable for slightly bigger fish and cuts arguably better. The two e-stiff blades (9 and 12-inch each) are both great for filleting medium and large-sized fish without an issue. They also have bidirectional blades.
All the different blades also work on the 110V (corded) models from the brand, as well as the battery-powered ones. They are all made out of stainless steel with a titanium-nitride coating. That coating adds an additional layer of corrosion resistance and makes the blades suitable for filleting fish out in the open waters. The handle of the knife is another nice feature here. It features the brand’s familiar anti-slip surface that lets you cut anything even when you’re hands are super wet. The shape of the handle, as well as the trigger positioning, are also quite ergonomic.
Lastly, you get two lithium-ion batteries with your knife, which are charged through the included power-charging cord. They last a decent amount of time each and have a battery life indicator to give you an idea of how much charge you have left. All in all, this knife features amazing practicality packed to the gills with great features. If your budget can afford it, this is a great multi-purpose alternative to corded kitchen models.
- Comes with 2 batteries
- Ergonomic handle
- Non-slip grip
- Comes with 4 blades
- Perfect for outdoor use
- Very expensive
- The smallest blade isn’t very sharp
- Batteries have a problem where they don’t recharge after a few months
Best High-End – Waring Commercial Cordless Electric Knife
Just as Cuisinart, Waring is a top-shelf kitchen appliances brand. They’ve been around for more than half a century now and are responsible for some of the most iconic American kitchen products, including the Waring Toaster. This particular electric knife is also one of the most powerful on this list which is unusual for a battery-powered model. Still, for its price, it has to deliver.
You get this knife with two 10-inch stainless steel blades which are great for cutting meat, bread, foam, or anything else that needs cutting. The saws are plenty sharp and also need little to no maintenance. There is an LED light that will guide you if you’re cutting in low-lit places. The power lock button is located in a comfortable place and has a safety interlock in it. The handle of the knife is also one of its most distinct features as it is one of the few handles that actually has a grab-in design rather than a traditional knife handle. Thanks to the BLDC motor inside, the knife is quiet, doesn’t vibrate much, and has a longer service life than other cordless models.
In your package, you will be getting a carrying case, a charging cable, an adjustable slicing guide, and a second blade. All that comes at a cost, however, as this knife is the most expensive one on this list. Still, if you’re looking for truly high-grade build quality and equal amounts of cutting performance, this should be on your shortlist.
- Premium construction quality
- Long battery life
- LEG light for improved visibility
- Comes with two blades
- Has a carrying case
- Includes a slicing guide
- Most expensive in class
- Some people don’t find the handle comfortable
- Doesn’t have a small blade
Best for Fish – American Angler PRO Professional-Grade Electric Fillet Knife
If you’re looking for an electric knife that is designed specifically with fishermen in mind, then the American Angler PRO filler knife is one of your best options out there. This particular set here is the Sportmen’s Kit where the brand has included 5 different blades, a fillet glove, and a carrying case.
The five different blades here are quite useful as they are designed to best fit any occasion. The smallest one here is a 5.5-inch curved tip blade that is excellent for small to medium fish. You also get a bigger curved tip 8-inch blade as well as an 8-inch heavy-duty shark blade. The two biggest blades in the set are two 10-inch heavy-duty shark and saltwater blades. While they are excellent for bigger fish, they are also great for raw, frozen, or cooked meat in the kitchen. All the blades are made out of high-grade stainless steel that can stand the test of time. This is especially important since the knife is meant to work primarily in wet conditions.
The power of this knife is also something that has to be mentioned. Unlike other EFKs, this heavy-duty knife has quite a lot of torque to it and won’t slow down for anything, including big bones or frozen meat. The vents on the handle also help keep the motor cool even if you have to work for hours at a time.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this particular electric knife is that it is corded. While other knives that are geared towards fish filleting are battery-powered, this one is left behind in that regard. That will severely limit your ability to fillet your fish on the boat unless you have a 110V power source. Still, this brings down the price a bit and if you combine that cheaper price tag with all the additional blades and accessories you’re getting, it truly starts to seem like a bargain.
- Comes with 5 different blades
- Decent value for your money
- Great build quality
- Stainless steel blades
- Ergonomic handle
- Comes with a carrying case and a filleting glove
- Can get too hot on some occasions
- The power button is at an uncomfortable spot
- The trigger can get stuck
Best for Bread – Proctor Silex Easy Slice Electric Knife
Sometimes a cutting knife should just be able to do the basics – cut a cooked turkey, slice your bread, and be durable enough to last for a while. The Proctor Silex Easy Slice electric knife is exactly that. It comes at a price that puts it at the bottom of this list price-wise and has a simplistic approach and functionality.
The 8-inch blade here is made out of stainless steel which is a good thing to see even in the budget segment. That will make it easier for the knife to stand the test of time and not rust. However, the blade isn’t very sharp, making it struggle with harder meat or bones. The plastic handle features a familiar design that has some ergonomy to it but isn’t the most comfortable to hold. The button layout is also similar to other electric knives on the market.
The knife can also be used as a foam cutter thanks to its long 60-inch power cord and decent power. As a whole, for this price, there aren’t a lot of other models that can match what you get here, making this a rather appealing option.
- Very cheap
- Easy to use
- Stainless steel blade
- 60-inch power cord
- Perfect for bread and slicing meats
- The blade isn’t very sharp
- Will require sharpening every now and then
- A bit bulky in the hand
Best Carving Set – Hamilton Beach Electric Knife
The Hamilton Beach Electric Knife is one of the best-selling and most famous electric knife models on the market for this year. The reason for that is because it comes at a trully bargain price and includes a storage case and a serving fork in it. This serving fork will allow you to hold down the meat while carving it. That will prevent potential cuts and improve overall safety.
The knife itself uses a fairly short 7 and a half-inch stainless steel blade. It is a reciprocating blade that cuts through small bones and frozen meat fairly easily. The fork accessory is also made out of stainless steel, although the plastic handle isn’t of great quality. The same can be said about the plastic handle of the knife itself. It is rather big but has a certain ergonomy to it, making it fairly comfortable to handle. The button layout is traditional, following the same pattern as every other knife in the budget class. All in all, this is a great set for anyone looking for a simple carving knife that won’t cost an arm and a leg and will come with a few useful accessories.
- Comes with a storage case
- Includes a serving fork
- Stainless steel blade
- Subpar build quality
- Handle is a bit bulky
- The blade isn’t very sharp
Electric Knives Buyer’s Guide
We are all familiar with the cinematic image of an old American movie where the family gathers around the Thanksgiving table and the father cuts the turkey. And even all those decades ago, electric knives were there to help. While they are quite the old technology in the United States, they are still irreplaceable in the kitchen. In fact, with each year, more and more models are coming out to the point where the market feels overly saturated now.
To be able to filter through the bad models and get yourself a great one, you need to know what to look for. Before we dive into the individual features of electric knives, let’s take a quick look at the various advantages they bring!
Advantages of Using Electric Knives
There are four main reasons why you should buy yourself an electric carving knife. These are:
- They are easy to use. Despite being relatively complicated in their design, electric knives are quite easy to use. They require no prior experience and will be handy in almost any situation that requires a sharp knife. Moreover, they also reduce the exertion needed in the act of cutting by taking some of the load off your hand.
- They will save you time. It goes without saying that electric knives will be much faster at cutting down a loaf of bread or a piece of turkey. Also, not only will they be faster but they will also make better cuts.
- They have more power. If you want to cut frozen meat, traditional knives simply won’t cut it (pun intended). Electric models, on the other hand, have more than enough cutting capacity to cut through frozen meat or other foods.
- Their cutting accuracy is superior. If you want to make precise and smooth cuts, electric knives are the way to go. While it takes a bit to get used to their functionality, once you get the hang of it, traditional kitchen knives will seem a much inferior choice.
- It is safer to cut with them. The number of accidents that happen due to accidental cuts with kitchen knives is quite large. Using an electric knife offers similar results with a much better safety track record. Additionally, they are safer for kids as well since their edges won’t cut until you turn the knife on.
Now, let’s take a look at all the different features and characteristics that you will have to pay attention to when buying an electric knife…
Features to Look For
Electric knives have certain similarities to regular kitchen knives. However, they have their own set of unique features that you have to go through in order to make a more educated choice. When shopping for your first electric knife, you need to look at the following:
- Corded or Cordless
- Safety features
- Noise & Vibration
- Price & Warranty
One of the most important features of electric knives is their design. How ergonomic a knife is matters to any chef and is a valid thing to look for in any kitchen knife and not only electric models. Look for models that have a comfortable handle that has the power button in a good position for your hand to hold the knife and press the button at the same time. Handles that have rubberized outer shells are more comfortable to hold even if your hand is wet. They are also great at reducing the vibration of the knife.
The design of the knife also extends to its blade type and edges but we will cover that in greater detail further down the guide.
Corded or Cordless
With the progress in the battery department, many companies are starting to produce cordless models. These types of electric knives were unavailable until recent years since they require a lot of power and older batteries simply couldn’t keep up with that. Some new cordless models, however, are perfectly good to use on any occasion and don’t lack power at all. They are great for fishermen that need a strong and reliable knife that will do most of the work for them.
Corded models, on the other hand, still reign supreme when it comes down purely to the power of the knife. They are slightly stronger when cutting and have a more consistent performance compared to cordless knives. They are also lighter, which is an important factor for some people.
The durability of the knife depends on a few major factors. First and foremost, it depends on the materials out of which the blade and the handle are made. For the blade to be durable over the years of usage, it has to be made out of strong material. The most common material used for blades nowadays is stainless steel. This is due to its excellent durability track record and overall good performance. It doesn’t rust, won’t stain, and will stay sharp for longer. Stainless steel blades are also much harder to bend, especially if they have a higher carbon concentration in them.
Some more expensive and durable models will have dishwasher-safe parts. Almost all stainless steel blades will be able to go into your dishwasher.
The blade’s edges and its shape and size are going to play a major role in its cutting performance. Some blades are made specifically to cut meat while others are better at cutting softer foods such as bread. This is why most electric knives on the market will come with a set of two separate blades. Apart from their material, you should also look at the length of the blade. Most blades will be in the range of 8 to 10-inches, while some knives will have more options, either shorter or longer. Some electric knives that are made specifically for processing fish will come with shorter blades. Their blades will also have a slight curve to them.
Quick-detachment mechanisms for the blades are something you should look for if you want the knife to be easier to use. Some knives have their blades permanently set into them which is a huge downside.
Even though I already discussed that briefly, make sure that you get a knife that can handle a variety of foods. A good electric knife should handle both hard and soft foods as well as other things that need cutting.
It also might come as a surprise to you but some electric knives are also used as foam cutters. While that seems a bit weird, they are the second-best alternative for that job after the special carpenter’s tools.
There aren’t a lot of safety features installed on most electric knives out there. However, it is always a good idea to look for the models that take things a step further in that department. One of the most common safety features installed on electric knives is a safety turn-on button. That will require you to press both the top and bottom buttons for the knife to work. Additionally, having a finger guard in from of the bottom button is also helpful in an event of a blade slip.
Noise & Vibration
Let’s face it – most electric knives are noisy. There is no going around that. Still, some new models have been showing improvements in this area. A quiet knife is always much more pleasant to use. This is especially valid when you have guests and have to cut something on the table in front of everyone. Apart from the noise-reduction properties, you should also look at knives that don’t transfer a ton of vibrations to their handles. While you might think you won’t care about vibrations at first, try holding an old electric knife for more than 2 minutes. That will surely change your mind.
Price & Warranty
Lastly, let’s discuss the price and warranty of all models out there. Good electric knives come between 30 and 80 dollars. However, there are some exceptions that are cheaper than that and still have an incredibly good value for their price. Contrary to that, be careful with models that are more expensive. Unless the knife comes with a set of blades, paying more than 60-80 dollars is almost never a good deal for your money.
Warranty-wise, most models will be covered by a full 2-year warranty like most other electronics on the market nowadays. Still, there are some brands that give 3-5 years of full or limited warranty for their products. These typically cost a bit more but are worth the money.
With all the important features aside, let’s go through the actual process of using an electric knife…
How to Use an Electric Knife
Learning how to use an electric knife doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Instead, it is rather simple, as long as you follow a few simple principles. Those are:
- Always cut on a stable surface. The larger it is the better.
- Never push down hard on the knife. Let it do the work for you by pressing it lightly against the food.
- Avoid using saw-like motions by rocking the knife back and forth. This will only get it stuck or damaged. Instead, press down with the knife and move back if you find a hard-to-cut spot.
- Avoid cutting bones. Some models will have the power to do that but most won’t so avoid cutting through bones unless absolutely necessary.
In addition to all that, it is important to never forget safety. Always cut away from your hand. This will protect your hand in case of an accidental slip of the blade. Furthermore, you can use a carving fork to hold the meat instead of using your hand.
If you’re looking for a more traditional set of kitchen knives, visit my full buyer’s guide on the best knife sets for this year!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can electric knives cut through chicken bones?
Electric knives usually have enough power to cut through poultry bones. However, they can struggle with red meat bones. This is why most people freeze the meat before they start cutting it. That way, they reduce its density and make it much easier to cut with any type of knife.
Can you cut raw meat with an electric knife?
Raw meat isn’t an issue for almost any electric knife out there. Due to the vast variety of sizes and blade shapes, most models are designed with raw meat in mind as well. They can also cut through the meat’s cartilage and most bones, as I mentioned earlier.
Are electric knives good for slicing bread?
One of the top uses for these types of knives is precisely slicing bread. Whether it is a freshly-baked one or an old bread, electric knives will have no issue with cutting loaves of either soft or crusty bread.
Can you sharpen your electric knife?
One of the most common misconceptions about electric kitchen knives is that they cannot be sharpened. Or better yet, they are “self-sharpening”. Both of these things aren’t true and they do, indeed, require frequent sharpening if you use them on a daily basis.
The best electric knives are going to be sharp, safe, durable, and should be able to handle any type of meat out there. Look at models that have a good value and aren’t simply overpriced because of their brand name. Multiple blades will definitely make the knife far more practical and convenient on different occasions. Low noise and vibration levels are something you should look for but don’t revolve around this particular feature if the knife’s blade and build quality aren’t stellar, to begin with.